Beach Boys Strats?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by c_corie, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. c_corie

    c_corie Strat-Talk Member

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    I’ve always been a Beatles or British rock fan, I’m getting into early beach boys; first 2-3 albums or so.

    Were they using Strats? When did they switch to jazzmasters and all that stuff?

    It looks like they had a black, a sunburst and a white one at some point?

    They are one of the few bands that have a really pleasant “Strat Clean” tone of that early era.
     
  2. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Most Honored Senior Member

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  3. Erik_C

    Erik_C Strat-Talk Member

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  4. Rocket King

    Rocket King Strat-Talker

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    I'm also a beach boys fan as you can see from my avatar!
    Which is why I got my Stratocaster last September.
    To my knowledge there was never a "switch" to jazzmasters.
    Al Jardine played an Olympic white 60s Stratocaster and Carl Wilson played an Olympic white Jaguar with matching headstock.
    Brian Wilson played an Olympic white Fender bass guitar.
    This was their first era. They changed things a bit in successive years, but not too much in reality.
     
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  5. c_corie

    c_corie Strat-Talk Member

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    I’m definitely not an expert but it looks like Carl? Had a sunburst and a black Strat but it also looks like that was in the early early days like before even mid 63?

    I’m just going by that website above and it says it was a 62 sunburst Strat...so maybe he used it very briefly.
     
  6. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    Most of the recordings were done by studio musicians most notably the Wrecking Crew. So what they played live is more of what we’re looking for.

    I too, am a huge Beach Boys fan and I’ve got an Oly White 63 reissue as a nod to Al Jardine as well. That being said, what we’re hearing on albums, even the early ones, won’t be those guitars, but they certainly were and are part of The Beach Boys look to me.
     
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  7. Stratafied

    Stratafied Senior Stratmaster

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    Brian Wilson wrote some great songs, I never cared for Mike Love , and apparently none of the existing beach boys do either.
     
  8. Rocket King

    Rocket King Strat-Talker

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    He may have used it briefly, but I also remember reading an interview that said they actually had their gear stolen more than once.
    I remember Al Jardine saying that.
    Carl used his jaguar mainly because the jaguar was THE surf guitar at the time, and therefore the coolest guitar around.
    If you read some interviews of surf guitarists who were active at the time, they'll tell you that you were no one if you didn't have a custom colour Jaguar!
    Candy apple red in particular was a very much desired finish.
    You probably noticed that many groups at the time had matching clothes, guitars and amps.
    The Beach Boys did the same and chose white.
    I remember reading they played mainly Fender Bandmaster amps.
     
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  9. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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  10. c_corie

    c_corie Strat-Talk Member

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    This confuses me! I’ve read up on it a little bit, so they never or almost never played their own parts or was this in the middle period? I can only assume the first 1-2 albums would have been them, like if you get signed wouldn’t they want you to play on your albums?

    The Monkees were a different story apparently, lol.
     
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  11. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    I always thought the Wrecking Crew only came in starting at the Pet Sounds sessions, and the Beach Boys still played a few things on that record, apart from vocals.
     
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  12. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    The Wrecking Crew did come in later and Carl still did some work on the instruments during this time even, but from very early on they were either supported by or totally replaced by studio musicians on record. This was a very common practice then as it is now. Pet Sounds was almost totally done by the Wrecking Crew with Brian arranging and composing while the rest of the band was out touring. Or goofing off. Or whatever they wanted to be doing. They only came in to record the vocals, which Brian had already composed and arranged leading to some strain with Mike Love who didn’t like the music and thought he was losing control of the band.

    @fezz parka is closer to that scene and can probably shed better light than I can as I’m sure I’m either dead wrong or glossing over important parts.
     
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  13. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Session cats played on everything from the get-go at Capitol.

    Standard operating procedure. See Turn Turn Turn. Only McGuinn played on that.:D
     
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  14. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    The wrecking Crew played on Mr. Tambourine Man with McGuinn on guitar and vocal, and the rest of the album were the actual Byrds (except the other single "All I Really Wanna Do", which also featured the WC).
     
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  15. fos1

    fos1 Strat-O-Master Silver Member

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    I grew up listening to the Beach Boys. I was in junior high school at the time. Silly me, I always thought they actually played the instrumentals on their albums. :(

    I still enjoy their music.
     
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  16. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Most Honored Senior Member

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    I don't think this is true....If I remember correctly, the first album where they started to use session musicians was "Summer Days and Summer Nights" in 1965.....I remember reading that somewhere....

    They had 6 albums previous plus a live album.....
     
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  17. Blue Beagle

    Blue Beagle Strat-O-Master

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    Didn't play instruments on their own records?

    Lol
     
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  18. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.

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    Some of the most finely-crafted vocal harmony you'll find anywhere.
     
  19. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    This is my understanding too. Even today, with your favorite bands you might be surprised who took that solo ;)

    You may also be surprised at who plays to tracks during their live shows. Not a lot left to chance with that kind of money on the line. You can’t let a little thing like talent get in the way of your product. Lol
     
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  20. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    The first answer in this page gives a little deeper insight on the matter:

    https://www.quora.com/On-which-albu...hey-start-playing-their-own-instruments-again

    Short conclusion, taken from that page: they indeed used hired musicians before Pet Sounds, but for the most part it was themselves playing their instruments, until Pet Sounds, when arrangementes became more complex, going through the Smile sessions and parts of Smiley Smile.

    If I were to guess which albums feature the Wrecking Crew most heavily and clearly, I would say Pet Sounds and the original Smile album, only officially released in the 2000's.
     
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